Delays in Lancashire County Council’s Helmshore road renewal cause trouble | United Kingdom | Messages
Households in Helmshore, Lancashire paid to upgrade their country road after it was potholed in 2019. They were so big that even municipal garbage trucks refused to use them to access the semi-detached houses and another four houses on a farm.
Residents wrote to Lancashire County Council (LCC) to ask the authority to get involved in the work as it uses the road for maintenance access to Helmshore Primary School’s field.
So far, no response has been given, although in the years since the Tory-controlled agency has used the road to get to the school field to trim the grass, fell trees and do grounds maintenance.
Keith Pilkington, who has lived on the street for 22 years, told Lancs Live: “The street was terrible. It was the last straw for the residents as the garbage truck didn’t use them and the ten heads of household got together and met at a church.
“The church also uses the access road and has participated in the work.”
Residents initially asked the council if they would take over the road once residents brought it up to standard, but were told they would not as it was a dead end.
Keith, a former solicitor who was once a local government employee, said: “We’ve waited three years and gotten nowhere. Council has allowed this to drag on and I think LCC are considering that they are doing nothing, then we as residents will just walk away.
“We have regulated access and paid for the upgrading of the road, all we are asking is that because LCC uses it for vital access to that part of the field that the primary school children use and which then needs maintenance on them pay like any other homeowner or landowner. I checked and LCC got a budget of £881,413,000 this year. On its own website it says the authority has healthy reserves of £211m – we only asked £2,138.58 for the costs. “
Former Lancashire Councilor David Foxcroft and current Councilor Samara Barnes have both tried unsuccessfully to get a reply from the LCC. Coun Barnes said: “I’ve spent quite a bit of time specifically on this matter and I’ve hit a brick wall. This was a first for me after working on something for seven to eight months.
“I fully understand how the residents feel. They tried so hard and put so much work into it, but they hit a dead end.”
A spokesman for LCC said: “We understand the community group’s frustration at the time it has taken to resolve this matter, but we have not been able to prioritize it during the pandemic. We are conducting some legal checks to make a decision soon.”